Anything from extreme weather to family emergencies can disrupt scheduled courses. An instructional continuity plan assists faculty with continuing course delivery in the event of a disruption by minimizing the effects of that disruption through remote teaching. Consistency in the learning experience can continue with the use of the tools in your instructional continuity plan. The pace of the course, the material covered, and learning process can all continue undiminished. While all instructors should have an instructional continuity plan for their courses, each plan will differ due to the nature of the course and requirements of the students and instructor.
The first thing to remember is that remote teaching is different from online teaching. Remote teaching is a short-term solution to a crisis which requires you to adapt, as best as possible, your plans for in-person teaching. Do not read about best practices for online learning, as this is not the same situation. Remote teaching is a kind of triage. Some adaptations can be fairly simple, like having students discuss a reading through a discussion board on Brightspace instead of doing so in class. Other adaptations are more extensive, like replacing a quiz, which might be too complex to set up in Brightspace, with a short essay assignment.
Although this toolbox was created in preparation for a possible campus closure due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the spring of 2020, the information within is intended to be useful for any situation, be it a personal family emergency that takes you out of town for a week, a hurricane that causes the evacuation of the city, a pandemic that forces a two-week quarantine, or even just jury duty.
When an event disrupts your teaching -- whether a hurricane, pandemic, or family emergency -- it is important that you have a plan for course delivery to minimize the effects of the disruption. To get started, you should make a realistic plan, stay up-to-date on the details of the event and communicate your plan to students as soon as possible.
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